What to Do with Weed Stems: Can You Smoke Them?

You’ve grown your plant and trimmed the buds. But as you break up your weed to roll a joint or pack a bowl, you notice a few weed stems tucked inside your nugs. What do you do with the weed stems? Do you put them back in the jar, or set them aside to be tossed out with the trash? Maybe you’ve never put much thought into how to use them, but we’re here to show you a few  ways to use every part of your sacred stash–as well as some creative inspiration for your weed stems. 

What Are Weed Stems?

The stems are the small branches where the cannabis buds are formed. They branch off the main stalk of the plant and become the foundation for bud formation. When you harvest cannabis, the branches are cut from the main stalk and hung to dry. When it’s time to manicure the buds, the tip of the tiny branch remains intact, otherwise, the flowers would fall into pieces instead of fat, chunky buds.

The main branches that support the buds are the weed stems. They dry with the flowers and though the ends and crow’s feet are trimmed, many pieces still remain. A lot of the time people throw them away, but they actually do contain a little bit of cannabinoid content–and as we always say, any little bit of THC is always worth hanging onto.

Can You Smoke Weed Stems?

It’s less about can you smoke weed stems, and more like, do you actually want to? Every now and then a stem or two makes its way into your grinder and gets pulverized alongside your buds. In that case, no worries. 

Stems still have chemistry, but it’s a pretty small amount of THC. Even though they are dried, the stems are quite fibrous and will produce a lot of smoke when burned, which can often lead to a few extra coughs when you smoke it. They can also impact the taste, turning a smooth flavorful joint into something that’s, well, not so enjoyable. On top of all that, there isn’t much terpene content that remains in a stem, so when you smoke them, it kind of just tastes like burnt wood–a far cry from those sweet, dank citrus notes that you want from your bountiful buds.

The bottom line: don’t worry if a little bit of a weed stem makes its way into your bowl, but purposely smoking weed stems won’t give you the results you expect from smoking weed. You’ll likely just end up with a headache, cough, or sore throat. Talk about a buzzkill.

weed stems

Can Weed Stems Get You High?

Assuming you’ve decided to forgo our above advice and proceeded to  smoke those weed stems. Will you get high? Unfortunately, probably not. The THC concentration is so small that you won’t get stoned from stems. However, there are other delicious ways to consume weed stems that might offer some therapeutic benefits. Cannabis plants have so much to offer, and those stems still have benefits, even though they may be on the smaller side.

What to Do with Weed Stems?

If you’d like to recycle your weed stems, there are plenty of ways you can be creative with your collection. As you de-stem your buds, keep all of the stems in a separate container until you have enough to work with and try out one of these recipes, formulas, or crafts. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed with these stem creations.

Cannabutter or Cooking Oil

Small buds, trimmings, and stems can be used to make cannabis-infused butter or cooking oils that you can use to make a variety of edibles. This is an easy way to make good use of anything not deemed worthy of smoking as is, and simply requires a crockpot or a little extra time devoted to slow-cooking over the stovetop. You can use butter, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, or another oil you like. As we mentioned above, they won’t have too much potentcy, but they’ll ad a nice savory, cannabis-y flavor to your favorite foods.

Cannabis-Infused Topicals

If you’re not a weed edibles fan, you can use cannabis-infused oil to make topicals. Cannabis-infused salves, balms, and lotions are the perfect remedy for inflammation, bruising, and mild aches and pains. From sore muscles to achy joints, these homemade topicals can have many positive effects for your body. There are tons of online resources with topical recipes for you to experiment with, so grab your stems and get creative. 

Weed Tea with Stems and Trim

Thirsty for a tasty, full-bodied tea? You can make weed tea with buds, trimmings, and some stems. Using only stems wouldn’t produce as much effect as buds and trim, but it’s perfectly fine to throw them in the mix. You’ll definitely need to decarboxylate the weed first by cooking it with cannabis butter or oil. This is another good reason to make extra in case you want to use it for edibles, topicals, and weed tea. Want a pro stoner tip? Add lemon, honey, and your favorite tea bag to balance out the “hempy” taste from your weed stems.

Recycled Cannabis Stem Paper

Did you ever make recycled paper in elementary school? Since hemp was the first material used for papermaking, it makes sense that we could do it at home with weed stems. It takes a bit of work and quite a lot of stalks and stems, but if you have them available and are feeling crafty, try your hand at homemade hemp paper

Bubble Hash

Bubble hash is a simple DIY way to use up all of your trimmings and stems. You’ll need a set of bubble bags, a large wash bin, and plenty of ice. Keep in mind that the quality of your hash is largely determined by the quality of the starting material, so use stems sparingly. You’ll want the bulk of your ingoing materials to have plenty of trichomes, but it’s okay to throw sticks and stems in there as well. If you want to learn more about bubble hash and how to make it, this handy guide is a great place to start.

Marijuana Martini

Like your martini shaken…and stoned? We got you covered. Much like making a tincture, you can steep buds and stems in alcohol. Instead of using something high octane for tincture making, select a booze you’ll enjoy sipping on. Vodka or gin make excellent infusions and can be used to whip up a tasty marijuana martini. You could even grab a bottle of blanco tequila and whip up a cannabis-infused margarita. 

Cocktail Garnish

Now that you made a marijuana martini, you can use weed stems like the cocktail pick to hold olives, onions, lemons, or any other garnish you desire. Be sure to use a bit of sandpaper to scrub the edges and make a pointy end. If you have larger stems saved, you can use them to skewer all sorts of snack foods or charcuterie. 

Frame Your Buds

If you fancy yourself crafty, you can use stems to make a funky picture frame. Trim them to the appropriate size and use sandpaper to soften up any rough edges. Once you have the pieces you need, simply glue them onto the frame with super glue or a hot glue gun. You can come up with all kinds of designs to decorate the frame. Super stoney bonus: Frame a picture of a dried pot leaf in your weed stem frame. 

Feed Your Garden

Lastly, you can compost weed stems alongside other vegetation from your kitchen. If you happen to grow cannabis at home, it truly comes full circle to make a compost tea out of the weed stems from your last harvest. Not only will you reduce waste, but you’ll give back to Mother Earth so the next batch of buds and stems can provide you endless rewards.

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